Covid Vaccine Compensation Reform
- Vaccine Injury Reporting
"The countermeasures program has yet to pay anything to anyone hurt by a Covid-19 vaccine, and its largely invisible decisions are 'an incrutable enigma,' said Brain Abramson, an expert on vaccine law." - L.A. Times
As a general principle, COVID vaccines are safe for most individuals. However, as is the case with any pharmaceutical product, adverse events will occur. If an individual is harmed by a commercial product, he/she has a right to due process to bring a lawsuit against the company that manufactured that product. Unfortunately, for those injured by any of the COVID vaccines, our current government legislation provides total immunity for vaccine manufacturers.
Did You Know... the drug companies CANNOT be sued for vaccine injuries?
The COVID-19 vaccine injured are currently forced to lodge claims for financial recovery with the inefficient and inadequate Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) rather than the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) – the program available for those injured by vaccines such as MMR and flu.
Astonishingly, the current rejection rate for CICP claims is 97%. As such, the CICP has only compensated four injured individuals in the entire United States - with combined awards totaling less than $10,000. To be blunt, these statistics are simply unacceptable.
Inequities of COVID-19 consequences create burden on the poor and minority communities. These communities cannot wait until the vaccine is on the VICP table and therefore rely more on CICP than anyone else. The CICP fund is not capable of addressing the needs of these who are in our most vulnerable populations.
The Congressional Research Service has provided an excellent detailed summary of the CICP as well as the more effective Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). It is available for review at: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/LSB/LSB10584.
React19’s position is that the CICP program is simply too broken to fix. This conclusion was reached after extensive consultation top vaccine legal scholars in the nation. It is our position that those injured by the COVID vaccines should receive retroactive coverage under the VICP.
CICP and VICP Program Shortfalls
Even though the VICP program is funded by pharmaceutical companies instead of the tax payer, the VICP program is not without troubles.
In 2014, The U.S. Government Accountability Office found that nearly 90% of VICP claims took years to move through the system. Many resorted to settling. HHS has readily admitted the already backlogged VICP program is not equipped to handle the large number of incoming Covid vaccine injury applications.
Payout limits have not been updated since 1986, when there were only a small handful of vaccines available.
To date, the CICP has paid a total of $8,592 for COVID vaccine injuries.
8,534 of the 12,000+ claims have been filed for Covid vaccine injury.Not surprisingly, the CICP program has been described by vaccine legal scholars as a “horrible program” and a “black hole.” Essentially, the injured have a right to file and a right to lose.
Repairing Programs, Restoring Lives
H.R. 5142 and H.R. 5143 Vaccine Injury Compensation Modernization Act, sponsored by Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) are a crucial step forward to restore the constitutional right of due process, financial compensation, and health equity for Covid vaccine injured Americans.
Fair Treatment of the COVID-19 Vaccine Injured
- Shift pending COVID-19 vaccine claims from the CICP to VICP.
- Increase the tax on the pharmaceutical companies.
- Reduce case backlog by expanding the number of Special Masters (judges for the VICP) from a ceiling of 8 to a floor of 10 and by permitting Special Masters to serve for multiple terms.
- Expedite claims processing by requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to submit a budget implementation action plan outlining the required resources to eliminate case backlog.
- Increase transparency by requiring the Special Masters to provide an annual report on caseload, number of pending cases and whether hearings have been scheduled, how many days it took for cases to receive a judgment, how many cases received a judgment and the results, and any recommendations regarding the need for more Special Masters.
- Provide fair compensation by increasing the cap on damages to the amount it would be today based on inflation increases and establish an inflation-based formula to automatically increase the cap moving forward.
- Ensure consumers have sufficient time to file claims by increasing the statute of limitations from 3 years to 5 years.
- Expedite the addition of new vaccines to the program by requiring HHS to promulgate rulemaking to add a CDC-recommended vaccine or injury to the injury table within 6 months of a recommendation rather than 2 years.
- Expand the types of vaccines eligible for coverage under the VICP by including vaccines and injuries recommended by the CDC for routine administration in adults.
How the CICP Program is Performing
As of September 1, 2023, 97.4% of applications have been rejected.
Only 1/3 of React19’s membership have applied to the program. 41% don’t know what the program even is.
React19 Struggling to Fill the Gap: To date, the U.S. Government has paid under $10.000 total for Covid vaccine injury CICP claims. React19 has payed over $600,000 for medical grants, with donations from everyday Americans.
*React19 is a 100% volunteer organization dedicated to providing physical, financial, and emotional healing to those suffering adverse events after Covid vaccination.
CICP Shortfalls In Depth Look
Finder of Fact and Law:The CICP, as a delegate of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), determines the merit of vaccine injured claims. In addition, HHS has actively supported mandating vaccines in numerous contexts and downplayed adverse effects in a purported effort to combat “vaccine hesitancy.” As such, HHS essentially serves as judge, jury, and interested party. Such a system is inherently unjust to the vaccine injured.
Appeals and Judicial Review: The CICP provides no judicial or administrative review.
Limited Benefits: The CICP does not provide for attorneys’ fees, pain and suffering, or punitive damages.
Filing Deadline: CICP claims must be filed within one year of vaccine administration. It often takes over a year for the vaccine injured to get diagnosed appropriately. Many of the vaccine injured are unaware of the program’s existence until after the one-year deadline has passed.
Standard of Proof: The CICP program requires the vaccine injured prove with “compelling, reliable, valid, medical and scientific evidence” that the vaccine directly caused their injury. As COVID vaccine injuries are novel in nature, sufficient evidence simply does yet exist and won't exist for years for the injured to prove their case. And as highlighted above, even the few adverse reactions that are listed on the vaccine package insert have been denied claims by this program.
Why is this urgent? – Needs Currently Not Met
Loss of Work & Income
Medical Supplies / Home Provisions
Medical Care Expenses
Reforming existing federal compensation programs for the COVID vaccine injured is a moral imperative. We rolled up our sleeves, did our part to protect the vulnerable, and now need that support ourselves. These everyday Americans are in need of assistance now. With bills piling up monthly, those injured by the Covid vaccines under React19’s membership have lost their health, their jobs, their homes; they cannot wait another month or years for promised support to come.